Mood Disorders vs. Personality Disorders

Jul 2, 2022Mood Disorders

Invictus Clinic
July 2, 2022

Some mental health issues focus on patterns in your emotions, while others are known for how they influence a person’s interaction with others. In either case, their symptoms need to be identified to be treated. This piece will discuss the differences between mood disorders vs. personality disorders.

Less than half of those with mental illness get help for their disorders. If you’re part of that statistic, it may be due to worries about being treated differently or doubts about losing employment and livelihood. Why? Stigma, prejudice, and discrimination against those with mental illness are powerful deterrents to getting help – and they can be noticeable no matter the degree to which they appear. They can lead to harm, marginalization, and other unfair treatment. 

Mood and Personality Disorders: Know the Risks

Treating mood or personality disorder symptoms with therapy or medicine like ketamine isn’t impossible, but success often depends on many factors, including knowing the risks involved.

The risks of personality disorders are significant. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Mental illness tends to run in families, so there may be a family record of personality disorders or other mental health issues.
  • People who develop a personality disorder as adults were often subjected to abusive, unbalanced, or chaotic family life as children.
  • You may have been diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder.
  • Variations in brain chemistry and structure.

The risks of mood disorders are equally worrisome and may include:

  • Life events, like losing a job, a broken marriage, a death in the family, and financial hardships.
  • Stress.
  • Sadness.
  • Depression – women get depression twice as often as men.
  • Genetics. Mood disorders tend to run in families, so brothers, sisters, and children are at higher risk.

Types of Mood Disorders

  • Major depressive disorder with lengthy and persistent instances of extreme sadness.
  • Bipolar disorder is depression that features alternating episodes of depression and mania.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is a kind of depression influenced by fewer daylight hours in certain regions between late fall and early spring.
  • Cyclothymic disorder features emotional difficulties, which are less pronounced than bipolar disorder.
  • Persistent depressive disorder, also known as dysthymia and is a chronic form of depression.

Types of Personality Disorders

  • Schizoid personality disorder is known for a steady pattern of detachment from and overall indifference in interpersonal relationships. 
  • Borderline personality disorder is characterized by trouble with emotional regulation, which triggers low self-esteem, mood swings, reckless behaviors, and relationship problems.
  • Dependent personality disorder, which features a constant and extreme need to be taken care of by someone else.

There are many other kinds of personality disorders, each featuring its own warning signs and symptoms.

Mood versus Personality Disorders

Millions of people in the U.S. have mood disorders and personality disorders, with some estimates as high as nearly 10% for mood disorders and about 9% for personality disorders. Diagnosing and treating either can be challenging, but you must know what you’re dealing with first.

What are mood disorders?

For someone with a mood disorder, their overall emotional disposition or mood is distorted or unpredictable based on circumstances and interferes with their capability to function. There may be extreme sadness, emptiness, or other symptoms that alternate, often on the same day. Mood disorders are often characterized by depression or mania.

Symptoms may include:

  • You may have times when you face prolonged and persistent instances of worrying desolation.
  • You may have bouts of depression rotating between low moods and extreme happiness.
  • Long stretches of irritability or lack of patience, with moods, changed by the slightest intervention.
  • Loss of interest in things you enjoyed doing.

What are personality disorders?

A personality disorder is a kind of mental illness where you hold onto a rigid and unhealthy way of thinking, working, and behaving. If you have a personality disorder, you may have difficulty distinguishing and relating to circumstances and people. This leads to significant problems and restrictions in relationships, social events, and work and school.

You’re often unaware that you have a personality disorder because you’ve thought or acted a certain way your whole life, and it seems normal. Worse, you may blame someone else for your challenges.

Symptoms may include:

  • Prevalent distrust and suspicion of someone else and their motives.
  • Limited variety of emotions.
  • Odd dress, thoughts, beliefs, talking, or behavior.
  • Aggressive or frequent violent behavior.
  • Intense fear of isolation or abandonment.
  • And many others.

After diagnosis, a mood or personality disorder can often be treated with psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, diet, or medicine like ketamine.


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